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A highly regarded young reporter in Cleveland, Nikki Delamotte, who was found dead with her uncle in his trailer, died of multiple gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday.
Police in Perrysburg, Ohio, about 100 miles from Cleveland, found the two bodies Monday morning after Nikki Delamotte's mother reported her missing and drove to the scene, where she discovered her daughter's car parked outside the trailer with her phone and wallet still inside.
An autopsy showed Nicole Delamotte had three gunshot wounds: in the left chest, right side, and in the head. Her uncle, Robert J. Delamotte, 67, was meanwhile found to have died of a single gunshot wound to the head and appeared to be self-inflicted, according to police Wednesday.
Surveillance footage of Robert Delamotte's home showed no other person went into or left the residence after Nicole’s arrival, police said. A Ruger .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a Taurus .38-caliber revolver were found at the home, police said — only the revolver appeared to have been fired.
Investigators are looking at the case as a murder-suicide, but have not determined a motive.
Nicole Delamotte, 30, had only recently gotten in touch with her uncle on her father's side after losing touch with him when her parents divorced, her mother, JoAnne Ullman, told NBC News on Tuesday.
Delamotte planned to watch a football game with her uncle at a bar near his Perrysburg Township home Sunday night. But she never came home.
After the recent death of her maternal grandmother, "Nikki was trying to reconnect with the small family left and did detective work to find her Uncle Bob on her father's side," Ullman said.
"Neither of us had seen him in about 20 years. They connected October 13th after a memorial lunch for my mother and had been talking on the phone," she added.
"I know Nikki was really excited about reconnecting with her uncle," her good friend Brandi McElhatten said Tuesday. "None of us know what happened. We just want to know what happened to our friend."
Delamotte had covered Cleveland's cultural scene for several websites, most recently Cleveland.com, and authored the book “100 Things to Do in Cleveland Before You Die.”
Cleveland business owners, artists, musicians and dozens of others who knew Delamotte during her time covering the city expressed grief after news of her death broke Monday.
A vigil for Delamotte was scheduled for Thursday, and a GoFundMe page that was set up to help her boyfriend and mother with memorial costs had raised more than $15,000 by Wednesday morning.